On many lakes throughout the U.S. and Canada you will find docks that are installed in the Spring and removed in the Fall. Stationary docks which are supported on the bottom of the lake on poles generally come apart in sections that are fairly light and can be carried out by hand. Sometimes large plastic wheels are permanently attached to the bottom of the dock poles. Often the fixed dock is light enough and rigid enough that a 30′ long section can be rolled right out of the lake and stored on the beach for the winter.
Floating docks typically use Inflatable Floating Platform and are either made entirely of polyethylene, or possess a wood, aluminum, or composite deck that sits on top of the plastic floats. Floating docks weigh far more per foot than fixed docks. This excess weight causes it to be more difficult to make a long rigid structure which is light enough to get done by hand. Often the longest floating dock sections are limited to around 10 feet. For long docks, the ten foot sections are associated with flexible connectors. These docks are typically removed by taking the sections apart and hand carrying them out from the water, one 10 foot section at any given time. For those who have an even beach, you might be able to drag the fully assembled dock up the beach with an ATV or SUV. Sometimes individuals will use PVC pipe as rollers underneath the dock and so the dock lacks to drag on the sand.
You can find manufactures now making floating docks that could have a single rigid section that is up to 32 feet long. These docks are made of structural aluminum bolted together to make a 24″ tall truss running both length and width from the dock. Polyethylene floats are caged inside the truss system and most common dock materials bring the deck. These truss type structures are light enough and strong enough to allow wheels to be mounted under the dock. In the event the dock is meant to be rolled the beach, polyethylene wheels can be mounted similarly to the people utilized on stationary docks. In the event the shoreline is too steep or it is really not convenient to keep the dock over the shore, a highway rated axle, wheels, and tires could be installed. The axle is galvanized and also the bearings are generally protected having a military technology that is made to maintain positive air pressure in the bearing cavity for just one year of Drop Stitch Fabric. A square or rectangular aluminum tube could be mounted under one end in the dock. This tube acts as a receiver for a 6′ long trailer tongue which will insert about 2′ and after that pin into position. There is a trailer coupler on the extended end from the tongue that is made to connect with a trailer hitch using a standard 2″ ball.
The dock can be towed over the water to your standard boat launch ramp in which the tongue is inserted to the receiver turning the dock in to a floating trailer. A mild duty truck or SUV backs down the launch ramp until the coupler may be floated on the trailer ball. The coupler is locked on and also the truck pulls the dock out of the launch ramp much like it was a boat over a trailer. The dock may be towed along the highway two miles or 200 miles. Temporary trailer lights may need to be installed depending on the distance and terrain traveled.
This new “Rolling Floating Dock” technology has dramatically reduced the hassle of installing and removing floating docks. Especially benefited are the ones waterfront sites which are very steep and also have virtually no beach. Floating Docks are available which can be as much as 17′ wide but could be folded up within the launch ramp parking area to merely 8.5′ wide so no special highway permits gbpman needed. Some docks may also include a large second deck. Big docks that are easy to install and remove can replace with the beach that lots of lake front owners wish they had.
Some manufacturers can also license the dock as a boat letting it be motored across the lake having an outboard and tiller handle. These docks become a safe, fun, and mobile platform for swimming and fishing. While technology is racing around us, it is nice to see that a number of that technology is giving us safe places to unwind on Inflatable Drop Stitch with our minds at ease understanding that the job of closing up for that winter is going to be simple and quick.